All Sorts of Weird Stuff: News

All Sorts of Weird Stuff offers news and information about George R.R. Martin, in particular about his A Song of Ice and Fire series.

"When I was young, I read all sorts of stuff. One week it would be Lovecraft, the next Vance. It was all imaginative literature, or as my dad called it 'Weird Stuff.' It was all 'Weird Stuff.'"

George R.R. Martin

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April 2014
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Down These Strange Streets

George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have once more teamed up as editors to put together a new, themed anthology, and it’s hit shelves today!

Down These Strange Streets (US Hardcover, UK Hardcover, US Kindle) features more than a dozen authors writing urban fantasy short stories, including such notables as Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs, Diana Gabaldon, and Martin’s fellow HBO-adapted author, Charlaine Harris. Other contributors include Melinda Snodgrass, M.L.N. Hanover, Simon R. Green, and Lisa Tuttle.

A complete table of contents can be found below:

Ice and Fire #5 on NPR Top 100 List

We posted a couple of weeks ago about NPR asking SF/F readers to vote on a very long list (237 finalists in total) so they could narrow it down to a Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy titles. The results are in, and it’s a great pleasure to see that George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series not only made the list, it went all the way to #5. Ahead of it were Frank Herbert’s Dune, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and at #1, what else? J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Congratulations to George, and to the other authors on the list, which is worth checking out (and lets give a special shoutout to Ursula K. Le Guin’s body of work, which really should have rated much higher, in our opinion… and may have done so, if only someone had thought to put the Earthsea quartet on the list!)

Thomas Dunne to Publish Game of Thrones Parody

Well, if Tolkien got the Bored of the Rings treatment, why not? Once they start parodying you, you’ve hit a certain level of cultural currency.

According to The Wrap, Thomas Dunne Books have acquired the rights to A Game of Groans from pseudonymous author George R.R. Contanza. There’s a brief blurb of the novel attached to the report, which reads as follows:

... set in a world where seasons can last decades (and comparisons to Tolkien a lifetime), the warmth is returning, and in the thawing tundra to the North of Summerseve, the future of the Bark family, their BFFs, and their enemies dangles in the balance ...
GRRM to Read from The Winds of Winter

Well, this is a nice surprise: according to George R. R. Martin’s post regarding this year’s Worldcon, Renovation, he’ll be reading an extract from the sixth book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, The Winds of Winter. This, and many other items, are on GRRM’s schedule for the convention.

We suspect that the reading on Thursday (scheduled for 2 hours, though we suspect a Q&A is part of it) is going to feature a room filled to capacity.

For those who are primarily interested in the TV show, the Game of Thrones presentation panel was extended from one hour to two hours, so it can accomadate a special screening of George’s episode, “The Pointy End”... with commentary from the author himself! Wow. Besides that, David J. Peterson—creator of the Dothraki language for the show—will be on hand for panels and workshops related to language creation, including a presentation on Dothraki; his schedule can be found here.

Having twice attended Worldcon, we have to really recommend paying a visit—even if just for one day—to get a look at a science fiction convention as the SF fandom community have developed to a high (if sometimes eccentric) art form. Thousands of fellow fans, well-stocked dealers and art rooms, costuming galore, and (literally) hundreds of program items featuring writers, editors, fans, scientists, academics, and even the occasional actor or screenwriter—there’s nothing quite like Worldcon out there. The price may seem steep, but the value’s quite high. Not least if you just want to hang out with George, who we guarantee will be hanging out with the fans at the convention during the nightly floor parties thrown at the convention hotel; make sure not to miss the Brotherhood without Banners parties!

And if you can’t make it… well, I’m pretty sure the forum is going to feature reports regarding these events within hours (perhaps even minutes) of their conclusion. Keep an eye out!

Renovation runs from August 17 to August 21. To learn more about memberships and day rates, see here.

Comic-Con Schedule

Lots and lots of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones, and Wild Cards-related events at San Diego Comic Con. Below, we’ll try and pick out some of the most notable:

GRRM Signing in Albuquerque

George R.R. Martin and several Wild Cards authors—Melinda Snodgrass, Victor Milan, and John Jos. Miller.—will today be signing copies of Fort Freak and other Wild Cards books at Page 1 Books in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The signing will run from 2:30PM through to around 5PM. George notes on his “Not a Blog” that this is very much a Wild Cards event:

NO COPIES OF DANCE WITH DRAGONS WILL BE ON SALE! I may be able to autograph some of your Ice & Fire books, if time permits, but probably not more than one, and only with a purchase of FORT FREAK. And in the talk and the Q&A session, we’ll be talking about Wild Cards, not the new Ice & Fire book or the HBO show. Sorry, but to let GAME OF THRONES take over the session would not be fair to the other writers.

Fort Freak Hits Shelves

The latest entry in the Wild Cards series, co-created and edited by George R.R. Martin, is now available!

Containing contributions from old hands and members of the original Wild Cards Consortium—Melinda Snodgrass, Stephen Leigh, John Jos. Miller, and Victor Milán to name a few—as well as writers brand new to the Wild Cards universe such as Mary Anne Mohanraj, Campbell Award-winner David Anthony Durham, comic book and Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell, and more, it’s a look at life on the streets of Jokertown from the perspective of NYPD officers assigned to the eponymous “Fort Freak”, the headquarters for the police precinct responsible for the area. It really seems like a bit of a throwback to the early entries in the city, which focused on and were very much informed by life in New York City at the time.

Fort Freak Preview

The latest Wild Cards title, Fort Freak, is due on June 21st from Tor and the Wild Cards Trust ... and it looks like Tor has decided to promote it by releasing a full story: “The Rook”, by Melinda Snodgrass, one of the original founders of the Wild Cards universe!

It’s a fun read, really reminding us of some of the early novels in the feel and the focus on New York City as the location. The eponymous “Fort Freak” is the nickname for the 5th Police Precinct which is responsible for Jokertown, and which is the central setting of the novel.

Go ahead and check it out!

Joplin Disaster Relief Charity Auction

The auction items are now up on EBay (the descriptions including the text ‘Charity Auction for Joplin Disaster Relief’). GRRM, Neil Gaiman, and others have generously contributed signed books, collectibles, and more to do their part to help with the recent devastation in Joplin, Missouri following a series of devastating tornadoes.

Check it out, and please bid generously! Among the books available are a signed copy of A Game of Thrones, signed copies of various Wild Cards books and RPG supplements, and more.

Official Site Updates

George R.R. Martin has updated his official site with some an additional event date in “Appearances”, plus some new posts in “Not a Blog”. Of note is this post in which he gives a sneak peek at Valyrian Steel‘s warhammer for King Robert, designed to GRRM’s detailed specifications. That would certainly dent some steel and crack a few bones, we suspect…

Also, in this post, he shares a reminder that he will be signing at Hastings Books in Albuqerque, at 1:00PM, for the release of the Doorways graphic novel adapted by GRRM from his pilot script for a science fiction TV series he developed and which got as far as a pilot. The book, published by IDW, collects the six issue comic book series.

GRRM Among Locus Award Finalists

Locus Magazine has posted the list of finalists in this year’s Locus Award, and there’s a number of finalists we’re extremely pleased to see present:

  • Novella: “The Mystery Knight” by George R.R. Martin, published in Warriors (US, UK), edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
  • Short story: “The Thing About Cassandra”> by Neil Gaiman, published in Songs of Love and Death (US, UK), edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
  • Anthology: Warriors (US, UK), edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
  • Best Artist: John Picacio, artist for the 2012 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar (US, UK)
  • Best Editor: Gardner Dozois, co-editor of Warriors (US, UK) and Songs of Love and Death (US, UK)

Congratulations to GRRM, Gardner, Neil, and John, as well as all the other finalists!

Locus Online Poll

John Picacio, artist of the 2012 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, reminds us that tomorrow is the deadline for getting your nominations into the Locus Magazine Poll. Locus is the chief trade magazine for SF/F publishing, and for many years it’s been polling subscribers—and the general public—about the works most deserving of attention.

There’s quite a bit you can nominate, but we’ll particularly note that Warriors was nominated, GRRM’s “The Mystery Knight” also nominated, and several writers published in his anthologies (Warriors and Songs of Love and Death) are also listed. Get to it!

As a write-in, we’d recommend Ted Nasmith for his gorgeous 2011 A Song of Ice and Fire work.

Recommended Reading: The Dragon’s Path

A frequent collaborator with George R.R. Martin, Daniel Abraham has turned his sights on epic fantasy in his latest series, which is hitting store shelves today with its first installment, The Dragon’s Path. The novel has been receiving good reviews on the web for those who’ve had access to the review copies. After his brilliant Long Price Quartet (a series we’ve often recommended and consider to be among the best fantasies of the last decade; it begins with A Shadow in Summer), he’s written quite a bit else, from urban fantasy to contributions to the GRRM-led Wild Cards shared-world series, with a science fiction collaboration with new writer (and GRRM’s assistant) Ty Franck forthcoming as well as his scripting of the A Song of Ice and Fire comic book series for Dynamite Entertainment and Bantam Books.

What else can we say? It’s Daniel Abraham. It’s his take on epic fantasy, a subject he discusses at length over at Orbit’s website. He knows what he’s doing. Read it!

Below, find an exclusive excerpt from The Dragon’s Path, published with permission of Abraham and Orbit Books. The book hits store shelves today, April 7th.

Warriors Recommended by Locus

Locus Online, the web site for the leading trade magazine for SF/F publishing, has a list of the best heroic fantasy of 2010 from contributor, Larry Nolen. An excellent list all-around, from what I’ve heard of some of the works. Included in the list is Warriors, the anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. It contains “The Mystery Knight” by GRRM, a tale of Dunk & Egg set in the past of the Seven Kingdoms, as well as a number of other stories from notable authors such as Naomi Novik, Diana Gabaldon, Robin Hobb, and more.

Inside Straight Giveaway

Over at the Cheese Magnet blog, John Jos. Miller—writer and fellow Wild Cards-collaborator with George R.R. Martin and the rest of the Consortium—has an fun post discussing sexed-up, vintage pulp magazine covers. Of interest to fans of GRRM is that at the end he offers up a chance to win a first edition copy of Inside Straight, the first of the newest Wild Cards trilogy, signed by at least several of the participants, for the first person to identify which of three men is him in a personal photo in 1974. He promises a chance at a consolation prize for one of the runner-ups.

Inside Straight contains stories from a number of authors, including GRRM, Carrie Vaughn, Daniel Abraham, Melinda Snodgrass, Caroline Spector, and more.